If the U.S. wants to help people in tsunami-hit countries like Sri Lanka and Indonesia - not to mention other poor countries in Africa - there's one step that would cost us nothing and would save hundreds of thousands of lives.
It would be to allow DDT in malaria-ravaged countries.
I'm thrilled that we're pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into the relief effort, but the tsunami was only a blip in third-world mortality. Mosquitoes kill 20 times more people each year than the tsunami did, and in the long war between humans and mosquitoes it looks as if mosquitoes are winning.
One reason is that the U.S. and other rich countries are siding with the mosquitoes against the world's poor - by opposing the use of DDT.
"It's a colossal tragedy," says Donald Roberts, a professor of tropical public health at Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. "And it's embroiled in environmental politics and incompetent bureaucracies."
Saturday, January 08, 2005
Nicholas Kristof is brave enought to say that the U.S. and other donor countries need to start helping malaria-infected parts of the world by spraying some DDT.
Posted by Betsy Newmark at 8:19 PM